Product Type: ELC Outdoor Toy
Newest Review: ... build at all, and is extremely good quality as are the majority of toys i have had from here. cover and detachable legs. The idea of th... more
Fun in the Sand & Water
ELC Blue Table Sand Pit
Member Name: arleek
ELC Blue Table Sand Pit
Advantages: Lots to do
Disadvantages: Quite low, leaks a little
With my daughter's birthday being in January, she doesn't usually get many new toys over the summer period, so this year we decided to spend her birthday money on something she could use during the summer months.
Our garden is really rather small so I wanted something that would allow her to play outside in the sun and something that she would get a lot of fun and use from. So during a visit to the Early Learning Centre I noticed this straight away because it was out on display (minus the sand and water). My daughter went over to it straight away and started faffing about with the toys that came with it.
After discussions with my husband, who thought at £45 it was quite pricey, I finally persuaded him that it would be worth it in the end. And due to it being out on display, we could see how sturdy it was, the height of it, whether she would be able to reach across it & into it etc with ease, and she could do all of these things so we decided to take the plunge.
There were two colours to choose from, a blue one and a pink one. I would have just bought the pink one because we have two girls, but my husband is sick of all things pink so in the end we opted for the blue & red one. We also had to buy a sack of play sand, which was £4.99, also from the ELC.
When we got the sand pit home we had to assemble it ourselves, and this was pretty straight forward. There are two sections to the actual pit (one for water and one for sand (or whatever you want to put in them) and they just screwed together, 4 broad sturdy legs clipped on underneath and that was it - ready to go.
Both sides of the pit have two bungs which you insert before filling with water and sand, and I suppose the idea is that these help to contain the sand or water and make it easier for you to empty the pit once you have finished. Obviously the side with the sand does not require these bungs to be removable, but the water side does.
What I have noticed is that they are pretty difficult to remove once in position and they do leak very slightly. This doesn't cause much of a problem because it is only a very slow drip but I would still have expected them to be water tight. Also, it is much easier to just tilt the sand pit and pour the water out rather than try and 'un-bung' the hole. (A minor issue in my opinion).
It's advertised that you get 8 toys with this sand pit and I suppose this is correct, in a way. You get a star shaped thing with which you can make star prints in the sand, a plastic sand rake/fork type thing, a shovel, a large spoon/ladel, and a boat (that's 5 toys). Then you also get some toys which fix into the middle of the sand pit and you pour water through the funnels at the top and the wheels underneath spin under the weight of the water (these account for the remainder of the 8 toys).
These are all pretty good and I was quite impressed with the fact that they actually came with the sand pit because I would have expected to buy the toys separately.
The pit also comes with a two piece lid with which clips very tightly into position when not in use. It has a really tight fit so you know you can leave it out overnight and the sand inside will not get contaminated by animals or rain etc. The lid also doubles up as a road for toy cars - quite a good idea but not something my daughter has played with as yet.
So, does my daughter actually play with and get lots of use out of it? Yes she does. When I first showed it to her in the garden, she was pretty shy at first and wasn't sure what to do, so I had to show that you can dig in the sand with the toys provided, and get your hands dirty, or you can splash about in the water side and play with the boat or pour water into the funnels.
To be honest she wasn't that interested in the toys provided, she wanted to get her 'Night Garden Toys' (yes still going strong with these - see earlier review). But once she had her NG Toys she played for 2 hours constantly, just splashing around with them. They did actually all have a go in the funnels and a couple went for a ride in the boat so she does get a bit of use out the some of the provided toys.
She also likes to get her mini-watering can and fill it up using the water from the sand pit and then water Mummy's plants - very handy!
But although she has played with the sand pit on numerous occasions since, the toys that you would use in the sand, she still has yet to discover their uses, which I'm confident she will in time.
What I found really good about this sand pit was the fact that it did have two sections, one for water and one for sand because then your child has a choice. My daughter obviously prefers splashing in water at the moment, but I'm sure soon she will love to play in the sand. She will always have the choice of both and I like that.
The actual pit stands about 45cm high which is pretty low in my opinion, especially since it's aimed at age 3 and higher. My daughter is quite a small 2 year old and it is the perfect height for her, so I think perhaps older children may have to stoop a lot when playing with it, and I think this could be an issue. This is why I can't understand why it is directed at 3 year olds.
So all in all I am really quite pleased with our purchase and I recommend it as something good for kids to play with in the garden. I think it's durable enough to last for years to come, but the height may become an issue as my daughter grows taller.
Summary: Great sand and water pit for kids